The Next Frontier in Podcasting: 100 Million Listeners

Edison Research’s Senior Vice President Tom Webster presented a keynote address, The Next Frontier in Podcasting: 100 Million Listeners, at the 2018 Podcast Movement conference in Philadelphia last week. Podcast Movement is the world’s largest gathering of podcasters, and attendees were the first to hear the results of new research from Edison on consumers who are familiar with the term “podcasting” but have never listened to a podcast.

The number of Americans who are familiar with the term “podcasting” has dramatically increased in the past several years, but there are far fewer people who actually listen.

  • 64% of Americans aged 18+, a total of 180 million people, are familiar with the term “podcasting” in 2018. That’s up from 22% in 2006.
  • The number of people who actually listened to a podcast in the last week is significantly smaller than those who are familiar with the term. Only 17% of Americans aged 18+, a total of 48 million people, in 2018 have listened to a podcast in the last week.

The key to moving from 48 million weekly podcast listeners to the 100 million mark is understanding why those people familiar with the term “podcasting” have never listened.

 

Some of the reasons uncovered are actual barriers, such as not understanding how to listen to a podcast, and some are perceived barriers, such as the belief that podcasts use a great deal of a phone’s data.

Thirty-seven percent of those who are familiar with the term “podcasting” but have never listened, say they don’t really understand what a podcast is, and almost half say they are not sure how to listen to a podcast.

 

 

Despite the fact that many smartphones in the U.S. have pre-installed podcast apps, 80% of those who have never listened to a podcast believe that they don’t have a podcast app. In addition to perceived barriers with hardware when it comes to podcasts, there are misperceptions about the amount of data a podcast might use. Sixty-two percent say that listening to podcasts can use up a lot of their phone’s data plan.

The research was conducted with a sample of 1,000 adults aged 18+, using an online survey. All respondents were familiar with podcasting. The data was weighted toThe Infinite Dial , the longest-running study of consumer usage of media and technology from Edison Research and Triton Digital.

NPR Smart Audio Report logo

The Smart Audio Report from NPR and Edison Research, Spring 2018

Smart Speakers Enter the Mainstream

The Smart Audio Report 2018. Click here to download or to view webinar

With smart speaker ownership over 43M in the U.S. (18+), smartspeakers have quickly expanded beyond first adopters. New smart speaker owners are emerging as a distinct audience in terms of user profile and behavior according to new research from The Smart Audio Report, which for the first time offers a preview into the realities of mainstream use, and reveals opinions about brand activations and messaging within the voice assistant ecosystem. 

“First adopters” (those who have owned a smart speaker device for more than one year) demonstrate more advanced use of the voice assistant and smart speaker – for instance, using it to control home security and other household devices. By contrast, new, “early mainstream” users (who have owned a smart speaker device for less than one year) are relying on the technology for a wider range of daily activities including ordering food, making calls, getting traffic reports, researching products, shopping, and even facilitating family/social time.

“Voice-activated tools have become part of our daily lives and are bringing dramatic changes to consumer behavior,” said NPR CMO Meg Goldthwaite. “As the research shows, smart speaker owners are turning off their TVs and closing down their laptops to spend more time listening to news, music, podcasts and books — fueling the demand for more audio content.”

“In homes that have had smart speakers for at least a year, they are now the number one device for consuming audio. This has profound ramifications for anyone in media and advertising. For millions of Americans, smart speakers are truly the new radio,” says Tom Webster, Senior VP of Edison Research.

The Smart Audio Report from NPR and Edison Research, which debuted in June 2017, is a reoccurring study on trends in Smart Speaker ownership and voice assistant user behavior. A full archive of research from the Report is available here. NPR was the default Flash Briefing provider on Amazon Alexa devices at launch in 2014, and also on Google Home, Microsoft Cortana and Apple HomePod devices.

How This Study Was Conducted

The Smart Audio Report is based upon a national online survey of 909 Americans ages 18+ who indicated that they owned at least one Smart Speaker. The device owner data was weighted to nationally representative figures on Smart Speaker users from The Infinite Dial 2018 from Edison Research and Triton Digital.

About NPR

NPR’s rigorous reporting and unsurpassed storytelling connect with millions of Americans every day — on the air, online, and in person. NPR strives to create a more informed public — one challenged and invigorated by a deeper understanding and appreciation of events, ideas and cultures. With a nationwide network of award-winning journalists and 17 international bureaus, NPR and its Member Stations are never far from where a story is unfolding. Listeners consider public radio an enriching and enlightening companion; they trust NPR as a daily source of unbiased independent news, and inspiring insights on life and the arts. More information about NPR is available here and by following NPR Extra on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

About Edison Research:

Edison Research conducts survey research and provides strategic information to a broad array of clients, including Activision, AMC Theatres, Disney, Dolby Laboratories, Google, NPR, Oracle, the U.S. International Broadcasting Bureau, Pandora, Samsung, Siemens, Sony, The Gates Foundation, and Univision. Edison is the leading podcast research company in the world, and has conducted research on the medium for NPR, CBS, PodcastOne, WNYC, and many more leading companies in the space.  Another specialty for Edison is its work for media companies throughout the world, conducting research in North America, South America, Africa, Asia, Australia, and Europe. Edison Research is the sole provider of election exit poll data for the National Election Pool comprised of ABC, CBS, CNN, and NBC. Edison is also the leading provider of consumer exit polling and has conducted face-to-face research in almost every imaginable venue.

Sexual Harassment in the Workplace 2018

To view and download complete study: Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: #metoo, Women, Men, and the Gig Economy

Twenty-one percent of Americans say they have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace: 27% of women and 14% of men say they have experienced sexual harassment at work. Among the 24% of Americans working in the gig economy, 30% of them say they have experienced sexual harassment at work. These are some of the many findings from the recently released Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: #metoo, Women, Men, and the Gig Economy report from the Marketplace-Edison Research Poll.

In early 2018, shortly after the #metoo movement gained momentum, Edison Research and Marketplace fielded the latest iteration of the Marketplace-Edison Research poll. This study asked a module of questions about sexual harassment in the workplace, and the results provide valuable insights into this issue among American workers.

“The Marketplace-Edison Research Poll has provided unique insights into the lives of the American population for several years, and we recognize the importance of addressing this issue through the survey for the first time,” said Edison Research President Larry Rosin.

Other key findings include:

  • Among those who have experienced sexual harassment at work, 50% of women and 64% of men agree that the harassment in the workplace hurt their career.
  • Fifty-two percent of those who have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace say they made a job change because of the harassment. Forty-six percent of women and 64% of men agree they changed jobs because of sexual harassment at work.
  • Only 25% of women who experienced sexual harassment in the workplace strongly agree they could report an incident to their employers without fear. Forty-one percent of men who experienced sexual harassment in the workplace strongly agree they could report an incident to their employers without fear.
  • Of those who have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace, women are less likely than men to strongly agree that the incident was handled properly by their employer. Only 30% of women and 53% of men strongly agree that their employer handled the incident properly.
  • Those in rural areas are more likely to have experienced incidents of sexual harassment at work than those in other areas. Twenty-six percent of those in rural areas, compared to 21% in urban and 18% in suburban areas, have been sexually harassed at work.

How the study was conducted:
Edison Research conducted a national survey of the United States population aged 18 and older. There were 1,044 interviews conducted via landline phone, cell phone, and online. Interviews specific to the topic of sexual harassment were conducted from February 14, 2018 to February 20, 2018.

About Edison Research:
Edison Research (www.edisonresearch.com) conducts survey research and provides strategic information to a broad array of commercial clients, governments and NGOs, including AMC Theatres, The Brookings Institution, Disney, The Gates Foundation, Google, the U.S. International Broadcasting Bureau, Oracle, Pandora, The Pew Research Center, Samsung, Spotify, Sirius XM Radio, and Univision Communications. Edison Research works with many of the largest American radio ownership groups, including Bonneville, Emmis, Entercom, and Radio One. Another specialty for Edison is its work for media companies throughout the world, conducting research in North America, South America, Africa, Asia, and Europe.

Since 2004, Edison Research has been the sole provider of Election Day data to the National Election Pool, conducting exit polls and collecting precinct vote returns to project and analyze results for every major presidential primary and general election. Edison conducts more than 100,000 interviews in a single day for this project. For the 2018 and 2020 U.S. elections, Edison will provide exit polls and will tabulate the national vote across every county in the United States for ABC News, CBS News, CNN and NBC News.

Listening to Radio Streams in USA Represents Less than 10% of All Listening to Broadcast Radio

Download the complete presentation here.

The annual conference of the American Association of Public Opinion Researchers is running this week in Denver, and Edison Research is proud that our team is giving four different presentations on best practices in survey research.

One of these presentations is from Edison VP Randy Brown, who is documenting the issues that come from implementing surveys online that attempt to measure internet behaviors. .

As you can see in Randy’s report, streaming behaviors will be overstated in a survey implemented online because it is difficult to reach lighter internet users from internet sample frames, even if one is using high-quality internet samples. Beyond that, about 10% of Americans still have no online access and are entirely invisible to online research.

The report documents the steps we take to make sure that our research represents the total population – using our Share of Ear® studies as his example.

One prime example of why these steps need to be taken can be seen with regard to listening to the content produced by America’s broadcast radio stations.  Share of Ear® determines whether listening to radio content is coming via the over-the-air signal (whether analog or HD) or from the station’s streams.

Our estimate is that 8% of the combined listening to broadcast radio content is from the streams and 92% is from over-the-air.

Nielsen has produced similar estimates. These numbers would be vastly higher (and incorrect) if we did not take the steps we do to correctly represent all listeners and all listening.

This is not, of course, to say that radio streams are unimportant – in fact they are crucial.  It is to say, however, that one can be misled by estimates that are not designed to fully represent a population, as Randy discusses in his talk.

It is worth noting that we see quite a difference based on the type of content.  For news, sports and personalities, streams comprise 12% of the total listening, whereas for music the streams are 6%.  Perhaps this speaks to streaming being more vital for radio’s more unique aspects.

 

 

Moms and Media 2018: Smart Speakers, Smartphones, Social Media

Moms and Media 2018 brought us more mobile behavior, new media consumption and kids on technology.  For the first time, Moms and Media combined two separate studies to showcase not only the way moms interact with media and technology, but also moms’ view on children and technology.

With data points drawn from both the Infinite Dial series from Edison Research and Triton Digital, and a survey fielded by the Research Moms at Edison, the latest report shows how moms in the United States continue to own their tech toolkit, as well as how they perceive the influence of technology on children.

Moms in 2018 continue their mobile tendencies, maintaining a firm grip on smartphones.  With smartphone ownership among moms still on the rise, the mobile device remains a must-have.  In 2018 we see that 92% of moms own a smartphone.

With those smartphones, moms are consuming media, engaging social sites and staying organized with various apps.  They are even talking to their phones, and the smartphones are talking back.  Two-thirds of smartphone moms report using the voice assistants like Siri and Google Assistant.

In 2018, talking to devices is a trend on the rise.  We see smart speakers definitely working their way into moms’ routine this year. Smart speaker ownership has almost quadrupled, with Amazon Alexa leading the way.  The report shows that 23% of moms own some type of smart speaker, up from the 6% that said so last year.

Moms have had a history of strong social media engagement.  While 2018 still reflects a healthy social media presence of moms, usage is down from previous years, with 89% of moms now using social media compared to where it was at 93% last year.

We know that technology is a major force in the life of a mom, but how does that translate to children?  Managing children’s exposure to technology is a challenge, as it continues to integrate itself into their daily lives at home and school.   Four in ten moms report being less restrictive with their children using technology than they expected to be, while about a quarter (24%) said they are more restrictive than they expected.

 

For the full 2018 Moms and Media report from Edison Research see below.